Recently there has been an uproar on Twitter, specifically with the New York Police Department. About a week ago there was an effort from the NYPD to try to make their fans, or lack there of, more interactive with the police force of NYPD. The social media department of the firm decided it would be a good idea to have people tag themselves in social media posts on Twitter in pictures of them with police men with the hashtag #MyNYPD. I’m sure they were thinking causal pictures of people hanging out with cops at local parades and events. But the public took another turn and had a different take on the challenge. They decided it would be a good idea to tag people that were being physically assaulted by officers.
Of course there can only be so much done to handle the whiplash of the hashtag, but soon it went viral and over 70,000 pictures had the hashtag contained some sort of inappropriate behavior of a cop. These pictures ranged from people being arrested, to videos of them being assaulted by officers for no reason. They should have seen this coming or had a way to try to slow down the conversations, but because it is Twitter there is no way to control it.
This should be a lesson for other large public figures. One wrong hashtag can destroy an image. Especially if a company knows they have many enemies, they should keep a watchful eye on what they are saying to the public or challenging in this case. There are some tools that every social media guru should understand when it comes to posting on large social sites stated by CNN’s Mel Robbin:
- Every social media platform has a very specific demographic
- You will never control the conversation on Twitter
- Social media is often ruled by the haters
- If you ask people for their opinion, they’ll tell you
- The odds are not in your favor to get good news